Often customers come to us with a specific bag filling machine in mind, but after a few minutes of conversation with us about what they want to accomplish in their production line, a different bagging machine is recommended, often a less costly solution.
This post will describe the three basic types of industrial and agricultural baggers and link to other sources on the CBE website. This is a good place to start if you want to become better informed about bagging.
The Valve Bag Filling Machine
Valve bags are frequently used for packaging powders, granules and blends of powder and granules. These bags are engineered to self-close after filling, so a separate sealing step is not required in the production line. Furthermore, because the bag opening is small and mostly contained during the filling process, dust is minimized.
An Air Packer in Operation
In video #1, a very typical valve bag filling machine, a CBE Model 730 air packer is being used to fill bags with a blend of barite and bentonite – a very fine powder measuring 200-300 mesh.
In this application a single operator places an empty bag onto the machine’s spout. The machine fills the bag to its proper weight. The bag closes automatically. The bag drops to the transfer conveyor.
The Model 730 uses high-volume, low-pressure forced air to propel the powder into the bag, which is why the generic term for the machine is “air packer”. An air packer is any valve bag filler that uses forced air to feed product into the bag.
The Versatility of Valve Bag Fillers
Valve bag fillers can also be belt-fed, gravity impeller, or auger-fed, all depending on the size, weight and moisture content of the product being packaged.
Valve bag filling machines are very versatile. For example, the Model 730 shown in the video can fill bags ranging in weight from 20 – 110 pounds. The fill rate, depending on material, is 6-8 bags per minute.
An air packer can be integrated with an automated bag placer and palletizer for semi-automated or fully automated operation. Most units we sell, however, are for manual operations such as depicted in the video. An advantage of CBE machines is their simple operation. Literally, five minutes of instruction is all that is necessary to train an operator.
Palletizing Filled Bags
The packaging process isn’t complete, of course, until the bags are neatly arranged on a pallet for shipping. This is why we design production lines for our customers that improve productivity all the way down the line.
Notice in the video that filled bags are transferred through a bag flattening conveyor that removes air in the bag and shapes the bag for secure stacking.
After flattening, the transfer conveyor delivers the bag to the palletizing station where a worker (without bending over) simply lifts the bag into place on the pallet. Facilitating this is a pallet jack that automatically adjusts to the proper height.
A Bag Filling Machine for Open Mouth Bags
Some products and industries are not conducive to valve bags. If the material is too course, or won’t flow well enough, an open mouth bag is required. Some markets and customers traditionally prefer open mouth bags sealed by heat or sewing. In these situations you’ll need a different type of bag filling machine, an open mouth bag filler like the one featured in Video #2, the Model GWB (for Gross Weight Bagger) being used to package granulated zeolite.
Open mouth bag fillers require a second stage in the production line for sealing the bag. In the video a heat sealer is being used for the plastic bag. Alternatively, a sewing station can be used for sealing poly woven bags.
Notice in the video that although the packaging operation is very simple, open mouth bag filling requires slightly more attention from the operator than the valve bag filler in the first video. Still, operator training involves mere minutes.
Open mouth bag fillers are frequently found in agricultural applications – packaging grain, feed, seed, and fertilizer. Granulated minerals or chemicals, such as the zeolite being packed in video #2, are common applications, as well. Food products and landscaping products round out the possible applications for an open mouth bag filling machine.
The Model GWB fills up to six bags per minute. However other models offered by CBE can fill 20-110 pound bags at rates up 24 bags per minute. An open mouth bagger can be gravity-fed, gravity plus vibrator-fed, auger-fed or belt-fed.
For fast, easy filling of free-flowing, non-dusty powders, granules, and flakes, it’s hard to beat a CBE open mouth bag filler. But, what if you’re looking to transport and store up to 4,400 pounds of material in a single bag? What then?
The Bulk Bag Filling Machine
Bulk bags or “super sacks” are gaining in popularity as efficient methods of storing and transporting large volumes of material – chemicals, plastics, and minerals being the most common.
In Video #3 a CBE Model 530 bulk bag filler is paired with an automated pallet dispensing system for bagging 5-20 bags per hour of plastic resin.
Bulk bag filling looks simple but precise engineering is required to fill a bag quickly without wrinkling the bag or trapping air pockets inside. A properly designed bag filling machine and process ensures proper filling.
Watch carefully in the video how the strap holders rotate making it faster for the operator to hang each bag. Also note that before product flows into the bag, the machine blows air into the bag to open it fully.
This high volume application required an automated pallet dispensing system which enables a single operator to fill up to 20 bags each hour.
For feeding product to the bag filling machine, one can choose belt-feed, auger-feed, rotary-vane feeder, gravity-feed, vibratory feed or air lock feeder.
Today, when manufacturers and distributors are looking at ways to reduce material handling costs, the bulk bag (super sack) is gaining in popularity.
Rest assured that one call to Choice Bagging Equipment will connect you with a bag filler specialist who will be able to recommend the best solution for your production requirements and budget. Request a call back here.